Melissa Crowe Schopfer is a partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy. She first joined the firm as a mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease attorney in 2005, and in November 2012 became an asbestos trial team leader responsible for managing a team of attorneys and legal staff.
Over the past 10 years, Melissa has worked on over 500 cases and recovered more than $100 million in settlements and trial verdicts on behalf of her clients. She has represented families impacted by mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases in almost every state.
As an experienced team leader and litigator, Melissa oversees the team’s caseload and helps them prepare for trial by coordinating discovery, experts, motions, witnesses, case strategy, and more. She also has her own caseload and deposition responsibilities in addition to leading her team.
“When we get a new case, our team immediately begins investigating potential sources of asbestos exposures. We research all relevant sources of documents and set up a meeting with our client and his or her potential co-workers. Once the case is on file, we move quickly on getting a trial setting and preserving our evidence.”
Melissa has experience working on a wide variety of asbestos exposure cases. She has extensive specialized practice in helping workers in the following occupations and products:
- Aircraft mechanics
- Automotive mechanics
- Auto body repair
- Laboratory equipment
- Plastic moulding compound
Melissa believes her hardworking clients that dedicated themselves to providing a good life for their families were wronged by negligent asbestos companies. Most of Melissa’s clients feel overwhelmed by doctors visits and high treatment costs when they are first diagnosed with mesothelioma. Melissa focuses on helping her clients navigate their lawsuits so they can focus solely on getting better.
Melissa says it is her team’s responsibility to make the legal process simple for her clients. She tells her clients her team is available 24/7 to answer any questions they may have about their lawsuit.
“My clients get the best of both worlds at Simmons Hanly Conroy with the experience, resources, and knowledge of a large firm available to clients,” Melissa said.
Melissa is proud to work for a law firm that gives back to the community and supports research for treating and curing asbestos-related diseases.
“We helped fund a cancer center here in Illinois and host an annual 5K race to raise awareness and funds for a cure. This means that we are dedicated to fighting both the legal fight and dedicated to supporting our clients as they fight against this cancer in their doctors’ offices.”
In addition to partaking in Simmons Hanly Conroy’s charity efforts, Melissa is part of several organizations in her community including Friends of Wings, St. Louis, Queen of Peace, St. Louis, and Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, St. Louis.
Melissa earned her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University in McComb, Illinois. She then graduated from St. Louis University School of Law with her Juris Doctorate in 2005.
Melissa presented at the Plaintiff’s Asbestos Litigation Seminar in Nevada on “Asbestos Exposure in Aircraft Cases” in 2011. She also presented “Handling Discovery Disputes with a Special Master” at a United States Arbitration and Mediation Continuing Legal Education Program in 2015.
Melissa currently lives in the St. Louis area with her husband, Hank, and her young twins.